Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It’s a Frame-Up

You can’t get away from it. Every piece of artwork needs a frame. Most artists would prefer to do their own, but there may be limiting factors like time, space, or lack of skill. I qualify on all three levels.

A frame is a must when you display in a gallery or art show. A frame sets a painting off and brings out the color theme in a way that nothing else can. Ironically, many buyers prefer to get their own frames and casually discard the frame the artist so meticulously purchased albeit at a somewhat lower cost and quality; a for-show-only purchase, superficial, but necessary.

My deceased brother-in-law was a framing expert. As an avid art collector, he started a framing business in the basement of his home just to accommodate his hobby. I coveted his business and hoped I could stir up interest in my husband to make an offer when his brother-in-law died. But alas, you could put my husband’s artistic desires on the tip of his little finger, and a son-in-law beat us to it.

A few weeks ago, I purchased some chrome and black frames for my 11x14 Roaring Twenties pieces. I was so excited to bring them home and try them out. Here again, the saying: “You get what you pay for,” rang true. Made in China, these lovely frames were cut a tad short, and my stiff, unyielding panels were too tall by ¼ inch. Could I drill a groove, I wondered? Could I cut through that synthetic polystyrene and make needed space for my panels?

This part of the artistic process is the most difficult for me. When it comes to woodworking and making my own canvasses, I’m all thumbs and no brain. By the time I pay extra for what I need, I’ve eaten up my profits, big time, which is one reason I started including recipes in my blogs for “starving artists.”

To hear more of Carol’s complaints or to see the fruits of her labors, go to:

Today’s artwork features wildlife drawings and paintings.